Restoring Humanity to Humanity Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ

(Preaching Outline)

1)      I decided to postpone a message on the Exodus as well as Christmas because I believe LSCC is part of a move of God to restore humanity to humanity though the gospel of Jesus Christ.

a)      Ever since the birth, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, an honest study of history shows that the church of Jesus Christ has restored humanity to humanity through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

b)      Today we want to explore some of the truths of scripture that will help position us to have the impact that the church has had in previous generations.

c)      How we need to apply scripture to culture is a genuine challenge, so I would like to begin by laying a foundation in scripture.

d)      With regard to Christmas, the advent of Jesus Christ, this is what he came to bring on earth, so we are engaging in the spirit of Christmas by seeking to birth Christ in culture.

2)      Luke 9:51–56 (NKJV) — 51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

a)      Feel the weight of how bad James and John duffed it – they were of the wrong spirit.

b)      The were falsely representing the heart of God and would bring the opposite of Christ’s kingdom if their desires were fulfilled.

c)      The challenge of discovering we are sons of thunder.

d)      Yet, they were still those who forsook all and followed Jesus.

e)      The church of Jesus is going to need to go through an awakening that we have often been sons of thunder and repent if we are going to transform culture once again.

3)      Where does the battle for culture lie?  That is a fundamental question.

a)      Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) — 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

b)      2 Corinthians 10:3–5 (NKJV) — 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

4)      Transforming sons of thunder.

a)      Hebrews 5:12–14 (NKJV) — 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

b)      Matthew 7:1–6 (NKJV) — 1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

i)        The present imperative (κρίνετε, krinete) preceded by μή () suggests a general rule of conduct best understood as “Don’t get into the habit of being judgmental” or “Don’t make judgmentalism a part of your lifestyle.” The reason (γάρ, gar, v. 2) that a judgmental spirit is to be avoided is that such an attitude directly impacts how others, including God, respond to our deficiencies.[1] (College Press)

ii)      All the talk of perfection, righteousness, serving God, doing the will of God, seeking the kingdom of God is given a demonic twist if it sets disciples to galloping on crusades against imperfection or unrighteousness in others. 2—Disciples may indeed be tempted to establish a critical environment and turn the community of the forgiven (6:12, 14–15; 18:21–35) into a house of judgment.[2] (Augsburg)

5)      Matt Walsh X Post

a)      He addresses some issues that we should all genuinely care about, but does so in a way that contributes to the problem.

i)        Anger and resentment.

ii)      The valuation of a human being that falls short of maintaining the image of God in man.

iii)    Fear

6)      There are many issues that need to be addressed in restoring humanity to humanity through the gospel of Jesus Christ – This is about developing mature discernment and practically teaching us to take the log out of our eye.

i)        Fear, anger and resentment are extremely dangerous.  We do not want to sow that in culture.

ii)      Many people are rightly concerned about the problems we are facing, Julian’s death was a terrible tragedy.

iii)    What we are seeing is a repaganization of society, and only the true gospel and the true church has ever significantly transformed pagan culture.

iv)    When I say “pagan,” I mean a culture that is inhumane, maybe barbaric is a better term.  Even using “pagan,” without a proper foundation could lead to division.

v)      HERE IS THE TRUTH WE NEED TO SEE – OUR ENEMY IS NOT FLESH AND BLOOD – MANY NON-CHRISTIANS RECOGNIZE AND FIGHT AGAINST INHUMANITY IN MANY WAYS – THEY ARE OUR PARTNERS IN THIS SPIRITUAL WAR FOR HUMANITY

vi)    When I say only the gospel and the true church has ever significantly transformed barbaric cultures (see the shift), we are not putting non-Christians on the outside, but have to prove by history and reason that understands the impact of truth on human culture. 

(1)   Persuasion not coercion

(2)   Partnership not division

(3)   THE NATURAL LAW TRADITION

7)      We can restore humanity to humanity through the gospel of Jesus Christ

a)      The beginning of our engagement in the war for humanity

i)        Transform the sons of thunder.

ii)      Believe in the power of the gospel.

iii)    Ephesians 6:18–20 (NKJV) — 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

Matt Walsh X Post

You should know about this case if you haven’t heard about it yet. Jillian Ludwig was an 18 year old musician here in Nashville attending Belmont University. She died a few days ago after getting hit in the head by a bullet fired by Shaquille Taylor who was out on the street corner shooting randomly at passing cars.

Taylor is of course a career criminal with an extensive rap sheet. This past spring he was charged with aggravated assault when he shot into a vehicle with children inside. The charges were dismissed and Taylor was set free after the court deemed him mentally unfit for trial. They didn’t send him to a mental institution. They just let him go.  Now Jillian Ludwig is dead.

This is what “compassion” for these violent parasites gets you. It’s a trade off. Compassion for them means abject cruelty to innocent people like Jillian Ludwig. It means that Jillian Ludwig has to die so that we can be nice to a criminal scumbag who contributes absolutely nothing to society.

Society would be a better place if Shaquille Taylor was not in it. It would be better place if Jillian Ludwig was still in it. But instead Ludwig is dead and Taylor is alive. This is what we do now. Time and time and time again. We trade the worst for the best. We sacrifice the lives of the people you want in your community for the sake of people that nobody wants anywhere near them.

Commentaries on Matthew 7:1

That the Messiah is not forbidding any kind of judgment is clear from other passages. We are to discern and judge between right and wrong or light and darkness. Even in this particular passage, we are exhorted to make a certain judgment when we are called to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. However, this passage deals with the human propensity to render unfair judgment upon others. The present, imperfect tense of the verb suggests that this is a continual habit or attitude of judging others. The first-century Rabbi Hillel noted that we should not judge a man until we have been in his situation.[3]

All the talk of perfection, righteousness, serving God, doing the will of God, seeking the kingdom of God is given a demonic twist if it sets disciples to galloping on crusades against imperfection or unrighteousness in others. 2—Disciples may indeed be tempted to establish a critical environment and turn the community of the forgiven (6:12, 14–15; 18:21–35) into a house of judgment.[4]

When Jesus says, “Judge not,” He is forbidding what is harsh (Isa 29:20), hurtful (Rom 12:19–21), uninformed (1 Cor 4:3–5), hasty (Prov 18:13), and hypocritical (Rom 2:1). He does not forbid all judging, for elsewhere in Scripture believers are instructed to judge (cf. 1 Cor 6:1–6). The Lord approves of both discriminatory and disciplinary judgment. Examples of discriminatory judging would be ascertaining whether a person’s teaching is true or false (Matt 7:15; 1 John 4:1), whether a person is worthy or unworthy (Matt 7:6; 10:11), whether a person is right or wrong (Acts 15:1–29; Gal 2:11–21), whether a statement is truth or error (Acts 17:11; 2 Tim 3:16–17), whether an action is right or wrong (2 Tim 3:16, 17), and whether a Christian’s liberty should or should not be exercised (1 Cor 6:12; 10:23). An example of disciplinary judgment is recorded in 1 Cor 5:12–13. Such judgment is reserved for believers, not unbelievers. Clarification on the matter of judgment is needed today because Matt 7:1 is often used against Christians to intimidate them from engaging in scriptural judging. The verse is used to promote tolerance of erroneous and destructive beliefs and practices by associating their critics with mean-spiritedness and arrogance. Those who say “Judge not” are often among the first to judge the Bible for what they say are its “politically incorrect” affirmations, examples, prescriptions, and prohibitions.[5]

The present imperative (κρίνετε, krinete) preceded by μή () suggests a general rule of conduct best understood as “Don’t get into the habit of being judgmental” or “Don’t make judgmentalism a part of your lifestyle.” The reason (γάρ, gar, v. 2) that a judgmental spirit is to be avoided is that such an attitude directly impacts how others, including God, respond to our deficiencies. It should be observed that the principle suggested in verses 1–2 anticipates the wider premise of verse 12. 7:3–5. It becomes apparent in verses 3–5 that Jesus was not issuing an ultimatum against all critical thought or assessment of others. In fact, Jesus expects his followers to be sensitive and responsive to the failures of others (18:15–18), and to be critically discerning toward those who lack receptivity (7:6). What Jesus condemns is a censorious judgmentalism which is preoccupied with faultfinding in others while refusing to honestly assess the enormity of one’s own failures.[6]

The word “judgmentalism” does not appear in all dictionaries, but it names a phenomenon we know all too well. Judgmentalism is a social sin; it is the habit of constantly finding fault with what others say and do. It is a disease of the spirit. The critic arrogantly assumes a superiority that entitles him or her to assess the failings of others. In this passage Jesus declares that the higher righteousness of the kingdom of God (5:20) involves the resolute renunciation of our proclivity to judge others more harshly than we judge ourselves[7]

 


 

[1] Larry Chouinard, Matthew, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press, 1997), Mt 7:1–5.

[2] Robert H. Smith, Matthew, Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1989), 120.

[3] Barney Kasdan, Matthew Presents Yeshua, King Messiah: A Messianic Commentary (Clarksville, MD: Messianic Jewish Publishers, 2011), 72.

[4] Robert H. Smith, Matthew, Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1989), 120.

[5] Hal M. Haller Jr., “The Gospel according to Matthew,” in The Grace New Testament Commentary, ed. Robert N. Wilkin (Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society, 2010), 33.

[6] Larry Chouinard, Matthew, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press, 1997), Mt 7:1–5.

[7] Douglas R. A. Hare, Matthew, Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1993), 76.

Send this to a friend